Helena Morrissey has joined Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) as the face of a new digital investment service, in a freshly-created role of head of personal investing.
Morrissey, who was chief executive of Newton Investment Management for 15 years, before stepping down last August, as reported, will spearhead a new digital platform at LGIM as the industry moves towards an offering that, she says, will see technology used to access funds “in the same way that we use Amazon to access books”.
In her new role, Morrissey has been tasked to “build and lead a compelling digital platform” for direct customers. She will report into Mark Zinkula, CEO of LGIM, and will also be joining LGIM’s board. She recently left her role as non-executive chairman at Newton at the end of last year.
Morrissey in one of the industry’s best-known figures. As well as being chair of the IA, she also founded the 30% Club, a campaign for greater female representation on company boards and chairs the Diversity Project, which, as reported, was launched last year to encourage a “more inclusive culture” in the investment and savings industry. She is also a mother of nine children.
In a statement announcing the appointment the company said that her expertise in this area will benefit its “aims to achieve gender balance in the workforce” through the 50/50 by 2020 initiative.
“I wanted a role where I could make a real difference to how the industry engages with its customers,” said Morrissey. “We are looking forward to building a savings business with strong and direct connections with our customers, including those who have never really thought about investing before or find existing offerings off-putting.
“There is no doubt that the UK direct savings market is highly competitive and moving very quickly: we are looking to get to the point where we are all using technology to access funds in the same way that we use Amazon to access books. Our focus will be on building a service, not a sales process,” she said.
LGIM said that the UK savings market is undergoing “significant change”, with increasing convergence between pensions and other forms of savings such as ISAs. LGIM’s defined contribution (DC) business has grown from £28bn in 2012 to £50bn and has over two million customers in workplace pensions.
LGIM already offers investment products to consumers directly and Morrissey will work closely with LGIM’s DC, and its wealth and intermediary businesses as she develops the direct proposition.
On Morrissey’s appointment, Zinkula said: “She is highly respected and one of the most progressive thinkers in the industry. She is passionate about understanding and meeting the needs of investors, and is the right person to lead LGIM’s direct to consumer business.”
LGIM is global fund manager with £842bn of assets under management, according to company statistics, as at 30 June 2016. These figures include assets managed by LGIMA, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.